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Study says that apps are not important to smartphone owners

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Study says that apps are not important to smartphone owners
There are those who will tell you that the Palm Pre failed because it was launched without a fully stocked online app store. Some will tell you that they will not buy a Windows Phone model because of the smaller Windows Marketplace. BlackBerry App World has been compared by some to a KMart toy department after Xmas with nothing but empty shelves. But are apps that important to smartphone users? A new study by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project suggests that apps are not so important after all.

According to the study, 68% of smartphone users open 5 or fewer apps at least once a week. Amazingly, 42% of those responding to the survey have not installed one app on their phone. Pew researcher Kristen Purcell says that the reason why excitement about apps fades is that, "The novelty wears off." But those apps that do stay on a phone are used quite often. According to Nielsen's Monica Bannan, Android users on average spend 90 minutes a day on their phone with 67% of that time used for running apps. Bannan says that this also applies to Apple iPhone owners. A good example of this behavior comes from Atlanta newsletter writer Ghada Elnajjar. Back in June she purchased an Apple iPhone 4 and quickly installed 26 apps. After a while, she says that the apps are no longer fun and now there are only 2 she uses regularly, Facebook and MyFitnessPal. 

Apps come and go. Anindya Datta, founder of Mobilewalla, an app analytic firm, says that "We are constantly deleting them. That's why the number of downloads is a very poor measure of how popular an app is." Datta notes that 80% to 90% of apps are eventually deleted. That is why an app that is kept by 30% of those who download it is considered to be a "sticky" app. Human nature might be behind the desire to change apps. Each month, 10 of the Top 50 apps is new. According to Datta, of the 1 million apps available for users of the top 4 mobile platforms, only 10% of them have been discovered.

source: USAToday

18 Comments
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posted on 31 Jan 2012, 00:05 1

1. santaclaus (Posts: 52; Member since: 20 Jul 2011)


i am also not so particular in apps. more towards hardware such as camera and GPS ^_^

so NOKIA is a better choice

posted on 31 Jan 2012, 00:10 2

2. cheeseycheeser (Posts: 374; Member since: 24 Mar 2011)


The only apps I ever open regularly are Facebook, GO SMS Pro, Camera and Music. I have almost 50 games and another 60 other apps, and I hardly ever use any of them...

posted on 31 Jan 2012, 00:31 4

3. chapizzo (Posts: 116; Member since: 13 Sep 2011)


At first didn't believe it, but after some thought, it is true. The only apps i open regularly are opera and facebook. Well i also like to replay angry birds.

But then again, some of the fun with apps isn't so much in using them. Downloading and Installing is also a lot of fun.

posted on 31 Jan 2012, 00:45

4. Jericho (Posts: 302; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)


Yep just like apps people want quad cords.
For what?
Ya! bragging rights.

posted on 31 Jan 2012, 00:47 1

5. Jericho (Posts: 302; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)


Sorry about the ''chords'' i meant ''cores''.

posted on 31 Jan 2012, 06:59 3

12. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


you realize that apple has almost no functionality without apps? they are not as important on android because there are many built in things, and preinstalled app packs.

as far as dual core.. its for the ability. future proofing if you want to call it that.. better battery life over single core and a over all better phone experience with the use of multithreading.

posted on 31 Jan 2012, 01:02 4

6. biophone (Posts: 1893; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


I have many apps i reguralry use. Its great during down time.

posted on 31 Jan 2012, 02:49

7. technot (Posts: 7; Member since: 31 Jan 2012)


Im not surprised with this study. Its just good to have choices but Ive wondered if users can really use that much apps.

posted on 31 Jan 2012, 03:10

8. thelegend6657 (unregistered)


Not really using them a lot although I have plenty of them

posted on 31 Jan 2012, 04:39 1

9. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


Most Apps I download and remove are Games.
Least Apps I download and remove are Productivity/Tool.
Things like task manager, cleaner, file explorer, system tweaking are very useful.
But games when you finished them it depends if you find it replayable or not.
In the end the most used apps remain your Browser.

posted on 31 Jan 2012, 06:43

10. FireDragon (Posts: 107; Member since: 13 Nov 2009)


I have to agree with this study as well. While I do browse random application catalogues after every once in a while and I do install if something get my attention but there are not many applications I used. Lately I noticed that I push myself to look at the applications I have installed and force myself to use since it is taking up some space in my device.

So far, Opera Mini and Opera Mobile are the most used application along side a few other regulars. I haven't play a game in a long time now.

posted on 31 Jan 2012, 06:56 1

11. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


i keep around 250 apps backed up on my phone. Many of them that are paid i bought when they were on sale like that 10 cent sale and at other times. I keep them all locked away in titanium until i finish with the apps i currently use.. then rotate them out.
I dont have a ton installed right now mostly because ive been going flash crazy on my phone.

posted on 31 Jan 2012, 07:35 1

13. jim3000gt (Posts: 17; Member since: 13 Nov 2011)


So let me get this straight. The people who put down Windows new phones due to the OS7 not having enough Apps are now saying, hey come to think of it, I don't realy use many Apps? Duh. Here's your sign :-)

posted on 31 Jan 2012, 10:23 1

14. GALAXY-S (Posts: 701; Member since: 07 Jun 2011)


Apps are really important! even if you dont use them all , all the time you still need them for one reason or another.. Its better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it

posted on 31 Jan 2012, 11:44

15. Windsponge (Posts: 92; Member since: 01 Nov 2009)


Who ever wrote this article is dumber than rocks. No need to have smartphone with out apps.

posted on 31 Jan 2012, 18:15

17. garz_pa (Posts: 153; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)


And you are dumber than the dumbest rock. The writer said ACCORDING TO SURVEY.

posted on 31 Jan 2012, 15:46

16. Leo_MC (Posts: 479; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)


This us another example of users buying smartphones and using them dumb.
I think most of my 3rd party apps are running in the back (3g watchdog, ecocharger, birthday reminder), some are ran when needed (doc readers, audio or video players, browsers and so on) and some are mixed (mail, facebook g+, backup, market etc).
What can I say is all this functions can be found in each and every platform and 10k or 400k or 10 mil apps doesn't count when choosing a phone.

posted on 01 Feb 2012, 00:14

18. Forsaken77 (Posts: 546; Member since: 09 Jun 2011)


People want to know that the availability of apps are there, should they need/want to download something. That's why they say a good marketplace is important. You may only need to use a specific app once or twice but if you don't have access to it, it sux. But the app novelty only exists for smartphone noobs. I used to spend hours browsing through the market when I first got a smartphone. Now, it's maybe once or twice a month I go to the marketplace.

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